After year of mourning Thailand's 'floating basket' festival returns

BANGKOK (Reuters) - People in Thailand celebrated the Loy Krathong or "floating basket" festival on Friday, following a year of mourning for late King Bhumibol Adulyadej that saw many celebrations muted or canceled.

The mourning ended on Monday after a five-day funeral last week, and many citizens have returned to wearing colored garments after having stuck to black for a year.

Participants in the festival pay respects to the water spirits, floating small, traditionally-hand crafted rafts carrying flowers, bamboo and candles on waterways in an ancient ritual.

22 PHOTOS
Thailand's 'floating basket' festival returns
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Thailand's 'floating basket' festival returns
A crowd releases lanterns into the air as they celebrate the Yee Peng festival, also known as the festival of lights, in Chiang Mai on November 3, 2017. This event is part of the festival of lights in Northern Thailand to show respect to Buddha. / AFP PHOTO / Reuben EASEY (Photo credit should read REUBEN EASEY/AFP/Getty Images)
A boy dressed in traditional Thai clothes prepares to place a krathong (floating basket) into a pond at a public park during the Loy Krathong festival in Bangkok, Thailand, November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A girl prays before casting a krathong (floating basket) into a pond at a public park during the Loy Krathong festival in Bangkok, Thailand, November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A man joins others in releasing lanterns into the air as they celebrate the Yee Peng festival, also known as the festival of lights, in Chiang Mai on November 3, 2017. This event is part of the festival of lights in Northern Thailand to show respect to Buddha. / AFP PHOTO / Roberto SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
Floating lanterns are pictured during the Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand, November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Visshawahgarn Sugunphattharint
A man lits up joss sticks and candle before casting a krathong (floating basket) into a pond at a public park during the Loy Krathong festival in Bangkok, Thailand, November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Men gather to place krathongs (floating baskets) into a pond at a public park during the Loy Krathong festival in Bangkok, Thailand, November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
A boy prays before casting a krathong (floating basket) into a pond at a public park during the Loy Krathong festival in Bangkok, Thailand, November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
People gather to place krathongs (floating baskets) into a pond at a public park during the Loy Krathong festival in Bangkok, Thailand, November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Tourists gather to place krathongs (floating baskets) into a pond at a public park during the Loy Krathong festival in Bangkok, Thailand, November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
People release floating lanterns during the Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand, November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Visshawahgarn Sugunphattharint
People gather to place krathongs (floating baskets) into a pond at a public park during the Loy Krathong festival in Bangkok, Thailand, November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
A woman prays before casting a krathong (floating basket) into a pond at a public park during the Loy Krathong festival in Bangkok, Thailand, November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
A girl casts a krathong (floating basket) into a pond at a public park during the Loy Krathong festival in Bangkok, Thailand, November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
A girl prays before casting a krathong (floating basket) into a pond at a public park during the Loy Krathong festival in Bangkok, Thailand, November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
People gather to place krathongs (floating baskets) into a pond at a public park during the Loy Krathong festival in Bangkok, Thailand, November 3, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Buddhist monks carry lit candles as they participate in a procession around a shrine to Buddha during the celebration of the Yee Peng festival, also known as the festival of lights, in Chiang Mai on November 3, 2017. This event is part of the festival of lights in Northern Thailand to show respect to Buddha. The main part of this celebration here was releasing lit lanterns into the sky at the same time later in the evening. / AFP PHOTO / Roberto SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
A crowd releases lanterns into the air as they celebrate the Yee Peng festival, also known as the festival of lights, in Chiang Mai on November 3, 2017. This event is part of the festival of lights in Northern Thailand to show respect to Buddha. / AFP PHOTO / Reuben EASEY (Photo credit should read REUBEN EASEY/AFP/Getty Images)
Dancers wait to begin a traditional Thai brass finger nail dance as part of the celebration of the Yee Peng festival, also known as the festival of lights, in Chiang Mai on November 3, 2017. This event is part of the festival of lights in Northern Thailand to show respect to Buddha. The main part of this celebration here was releasing lit lanterns into the sky at the same time later in the evening. / AFP PHOTO / Roberto SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
A buddhist monk sweeps the steps of a shrine to Buddha before the celebration of the Yee Peng festival, also known as the festival of lights, in Chiang Mai on November 3, 2017. This event is part of the festival of lights in Northern Thailand to show respect to Buddha. The main part of this celebration here was releasing lit lanterns into the sky at the same time later in the evening. / AFP PHOTO / Roberto SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman smiles as she and others release a lantern into the air as they celebrate the Yee Peng festival, also known as the festival of lights, in Chiang Mai on November 3, 2017. This event is part of the festival of lights in Northern Thailand to show respect to Buddha. / AFP PHOTO / Roberto SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
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The rafts are also thought to carry away bad luck and usher in good fortune during the festival, which is celebrated all over Thailand, but is particularly spectacular in the north.

Festivities will stay in a low key this year, out of respect for the late monarch, however, authorities in the capital said.

"We will not have excessive celebrations but will focus more on showcasing Thai culture," Chalermpon Chotinuchit, of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), told Reuters.

The BMA urged celebrants to use rafts made from natural materials this year, after environment groups flagged concerns about non-biodegradable components clogging rivers and drains.

52 PHOTOS
Thailand King Bhumibol's cremation ceremony
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Thailand King Bhumibol's cremation ceremony
Mourners wait to offer flowers as a sign of respect for the late Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok on October 26, 2017. Black-clad mourners thronged Bangkok's historic quarter before dawn on October 26 ahead of the cremation of king Bhumibol Adulyadej, a revered monarch whose passing after a seven decade reign plunged Thailand into a year of grieving. / AFP PHOTO / YE AUNG THU (Photo credit should read YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)
Smoke is seen at the Royal Crematorium site during the Symbolic Royal Cremation near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn takes part in the royal cremation procession of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Royal urn of Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is transported on a ramp to Funeral Pyre during the Royal Cremation Ceremony near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Police officer stands guard during the Royal Cremation Ceremony of Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
A moruner awaits the beginning of the cerimonial funeral procession for the late Thai King Bhumiphol Adulyadej in Bangkok on October 26 2017 (Photo by Thomas De Cian/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
The Great Victory Chariot is pulled during the funeral procession for Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej before the Royal Cremation Ceremony in front of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
The Great Victory Chariot carrying the royal urn of Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej arrives during the Royal Cremation Ceremony near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
The Great Victory Chariot carrying the royal urn of Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej arrives during the Royal Cremation Ceremony near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Thai royal guards salute during the Symbolic Royal Cremation at the Royal Crematorium site near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Mourners react as the Royal Urn of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is carried by the Great Victory Chariot during a royal cremation procession at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
A mourner weeps as the Great Victory Chariot carrying the royal urn of Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej arrives during the Royal Cremation ceremony at the Royal Crematorium site near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Mourners react as the Royal Urn of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is carried by the Great Victory Chariot during a royal cremation procession at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
The Royal Urn of Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is seen inside the Royal Crematorium site during the Symbolic Royal Cremation near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
The Great Victory Chariot carrying the royal urn of Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is pictured during the royal cremation ceremony near the Grand Palace in Bangkok , Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Thai Royal Guards attend the funeral procession for Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej before the Royal Cremation Ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Royal guards take part in the Royal Cremation ceremony of Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Mourners line up to offer sandalwood flowers at a replica of the Royal Crematorium during the funeral of Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok, Thailand October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn takes a part in the royal cremation procession of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Thailand's Princesses Sirivannavari Nariratana and Bajrakitiyabha take a part in the royal cremation procession of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Religious statues decorate the Great Victory Chariot carrying the Royal Urn of Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej during a royal cremation procession at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
A Thai royal guard attends the funeral procession for Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej before the Royal Cremation Ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Thai soldiers pull the The Great Victory Chariot with the royal urn during the funeral procession for Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej before the Royal Cremation Ceremony in front of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Royal Guards take part in the royal cremation procession of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in front of the the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Mourners react as the Royal Urn of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is taken on the Great Victory Chariot during a royal cremation procession at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn (C) and other members of royal family take part in the royal cremation procession of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Mourners shield themselves from the sun as they wait for the Royal Cremation ceremony of Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej to begin near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Mourners wait just before the sunset to go through security check for tomorrow's Royal Cremation ceremony of Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
A sleeping girl wears a pin with picture of Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej as mourners wait for tomorrow's Royal Cremation ceremony near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
A woman holds the portrait of Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej as mourners wait for tomorrow's Royal Cremation ceremony near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Thai royal guards salute the start of the Royal Cremation ceremony for Thailand's late King Bhumibol Adulyadej near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn presides over rites as the royal urn is moved from the Grand Palace in a procession to the Royal Crematorium for King Bhumibol Adulyadej's cremation in Bangkok, Thailand, in this still image taken from video, October 26, 2017. Thai TV Pool/via Reuters TV
Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha marches in the royal cremation procession of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Kerek Wongsa
BANGKOK, THAILAND - OCTOBER 26: A Thai woman prays during a religious ceremony on the day of the historical cremation of Thailand's King Bhumibol on October 26, 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand. The funeral of the much loved king is taking place around Bangkok's Grand Palace. The kingdom has been preparing for the cremation of the former king for over a year following his death at the age of 88 on October 13, 2016. The ceremonies will take place over five days with the cremation of the king's body in a grand Royal Crematorium on October 26th. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - OCTOBER 26: Thai mourners watch a big screen during a religious ceremony on the day of the historical cremation of Thailand's King Bhumibol on October 26, Bangkok, Thailand. The funeral of the much loved king is taking place around Bangkok's Grand Palace. The kingdom has been preparing for the cremation of the former king for over a year following his death at the age of 88 on October 13, 2016. The ceremonies will take place over five days with the cremation of the king's body in a grand Royal Crematorium on October 26th.. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
Mourners await the cremation cereomony for the late Thai King Bhumiphol Adulyadej in Bangkok on October 26 2017 (Photo by Thomas De Cian/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Thai police stand at attention as smoke from artillery gun salvos rises in the air near the cremation grounds where the body of late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej's body was taken to be cremated in Bangkok on October 26, 2017. A sea of black-clad mourners massed across Bangkok's historic heart early on October 26 as funeral rituals began for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a revered monarch whose passing after a seven-decade reign has left Thailand bereft of its only unifying figure. / AFP PHOTO / ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - OCTOBER 26: A Thai woman watches a giant video screen showing the funeral of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej on October 26, 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand. Tens of thousands of people, dressed in black , have gathered in Bangkok over a year after the death of Thailand's popular King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The five-day royal cremation ceremony is taking place between October 25-29 in Bangkok's historic Grand Palace and the Sanam Luang area. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - OCTOBER 26: Thai mourners watch a big screen during a religious ceremony on the day of the historical cremation of Thailand's King Bhumibol on October 26, Bangkok, Thailand. The funeral of the much loved king is taking place around Bangkok's Grand Palace. The kingdom has been preparing for the cremation of the former king for over a year following his death at the age of 88 on October 13, 2016. The ceremonies will take place over five days with the cremation of the king's body in a grand Royal Crematorium on October 26th. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - OCTOBER 26: Thai mourners pray during a religious ceremony on the day of the historical cremation of Thailand's King Bhumibol on October 26, Bangkok, Thailand. The funeral of the much loved king is taking place around Bangkok's Grand Palace. The kingdom has been preparing for the cremation of the former king for over a year following his death at the age of 88 on October 13, 2016. The ceremonies will take place over five days with the cremation of the king's body in a grand Royal Crematorium on October 26th. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - OCTOBER 26: Thai mourners watch a big screen during a religious ceremony on the day of the historical cremation of Thailand's King Bhumibol on October 26, Bangkok, Thailand. The funeral of the much loved king is taking place around Bangkok's Grand Palace. The kingdom has been preparing for the cremation of the former king for over a year following his death at the age of 88 on October 13, 2016. The ceremonies will take place over five days with the cremation of the king's body in a grand Royal Crematorium on October 26th. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
Mourners wait to offer flowers as a sign of respect for the late Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej at the King Rama V Monument in Bangkok on October 26, 2017. A sea of black-clad mourners massed across Bangkok's historic heart early on October 26 as funeral rituals began for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a revered monarch whose passing after a seven-decade reign has left Thailand bereft of its only unifying figure. / AFP PHOTO / YE AUNG THU (Photo credit should read YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - OCTOBER 26: A man watches the royal funeral on his phone near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand. Hundreds of thousands of people, dressed in black, have gathered in Bangkok over a year after the death of Thailand's popular King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The five-day royal cremation ceremony is taking place between October 25-29 in Bangkok's historic Grand Palace and the Sanam Luang area. (Photo by Aaron Joel Santos/Getty Images)
Thai soldiers in dress uniforms carry flowers as a sign of respect for the late Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej at the King Rama V Monument in Bangkok on October 26, 2017. A sea of black-clad mourners massed across Bangkok's historic heart early on October 26 as funeral rituals began for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a revered monarch whose passing after a seven-decade reign has left Thailand bereft of its only unifying figure. / AFP PHOTO / YE AUNG THU (Photo credit should read YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)
Mourners pray as the Royal Chariot carrying the Royal Urn, unseen, passes during the cremation procession for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Sanam Luang ceremonial ground in Bangkok, Thailand, on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. The elaborate, $90 million royal cremation ceremony for Bhumibol brought the nation to a standstill, as mourners bid a final farewell to a monarch who reigned for seven decades. Photographer: Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mourners pray as the Royal Chariot carrying the Royal Urn, unseen, passes during the cremation procession for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Sanam Luang ceremonial ground in Bangkok, Thailand, on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. The elaborate, $90 million royal cremation ceremony for Bhumibol brought the nation to a standstill, as mourners bid a final farewell to a monarch who reigned for seven decades. Photographer: Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg via Getty Images
BANGKOK, THAILAND - OCTOBER 26: The Royal Crematorium is seen at the early morning before the cremation of the late King Rama 9, in Bangkok, Thailand on October 26, 2017. Thailand's Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej was the world's longest serving monarch who died on October 13th, 2016 at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok. The Royal funeral ceremony will take place over three days in the Thai Capital front of the Royal Palace at the Grand Royal Crematorium site exclusively build for the much beloved King Rama 9. The first day, the Royal Urn will be transferring to the Royal Crematorium for the Royal actual cremation, and his Royal Relics and Ashes will be transferring back to the Grand Palace and into two different Temples in Bangkok the following days. (Photo by Guillaume Payen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BANGKOK, THAILAND - OCTOBER 26: Thai boy scouts march to a replica of the Royal Crematorium offering flowers ahead of the historical cremation of Thailand's King Bhumibol on October 26, Bangkok, Thailand. The funeral of the much loved king is taking place around Bangkok's Grand Palace. The kingdom has been preparing for the cremation of the former king for over a year following his death at the age of 88 on October 13, 2016. The ceremonies will take place over five days with the cremation of the king's body in a grand Royal Crematorium on October 26th. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
Thai army dressed in ancient traditional uniforms during in the royal cremation ceremony for the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej outside the Royal Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, 26 October 2017. (Photo by Anusak Laowilas/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Mourners lay flowers as a sign of respect for the late Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok on October 26, 2017. Black-clad mourners thronged Bangkok's historic quarter before dawn on October 26 ahead of the cremation of king Bhumibol Adulyadej, a revered monarch whose passing after a seven decade reign plunged Thailand into a year of grieving. / AFP PHOTO / YE AUNG THU (Photo credit should read YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)
A mourner cries during a flower-laying ceremony for the late Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej in Bangkok on October 26, 2017. A sea of black-clad mourners massed across Bangkok's historic heart early on October 26 as funeral rituals began for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a revered monarch whose passing after a seven-decade reign has left Thailand bereft of its only unifying figure. / AFP PHOTO / Ye Aung Thu (Photo credit should read YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)
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Festival participants also struck a somber note.

"It will be a sadder period this Loy Krathong because everyone loves the late King Rama IX," said 23-year-old Nanthicha Sorndee.

Safety concerns have prompted national carrier Thai Airways International to cancel some roundtrip flights between Bangkok and Chiang Mai on Friday and Saturday, it said in a statement, without elaborating.

The northern Thai city celebrates Loy Krathong alongside Yi Peng, a festival in which brightly lit lanterns are wafted into the sky.

(Reporting by Suphanida Thakral; Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Clarence Fernandez)

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